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Good News - November 2018

We all are continually learning in our Christian walk.  The article below is from the Reformed Church of America’s website.  If you have questions/concerns please do not hesitate to talk with Pastor Brian.


To be successful, renewal and revitalization require congregation-wide initiatives led by consistories and other leadership groups within the church. But renewal rarely begins that way; renewal of a congregation most often blossoms from the renewal of a single person--the pastor. And many times, that personal renewal is fostered by a sabbatical.

What is a sabbatical? A sabbatical is a time to focus in-depth on things that are important to a person's work and life with the church. Sabbaticals for pastors are highly recommended in order to renew the calling and creativity of our spiritual leaders. Such sabbaticals should include intentional times for reflection, rekindling the spirit, and deepening spiritual life and family relationships.

Why should we give our pastor a sabbatical? A congregation should arrange for a pastor's sabbatical because it's biblical, and because both the pastor and the church need it. The sabbatical year practiced by the Hebrew people was the final year in a cycle of seven years (Leviticus 25:3-4). It was also a time when the Hebrew people had the opportunity to renew their trust in God as the provider of all of their needs, even during the time when they did not labor.

After a pastor has served a congregation for five years or more, they have a tendency to take God and one another for granted, often falling into frustrating patterns rather than finding a faithful and creative future. A sabbatical for the pastor can provide time to focus on reading, writing, preaching, and prayer, and forces members to exercise their ministries for the good of one another and the gospel.

How does the congregation benefit? In a video presentation entitled Why You Should Give Your Pastor a Sabbatical, Roy Oswald says, "Granting a sabbatical leave to a pastor becomes a great way for congregants to once again claim certain roles within a congregation that correspond with the gifts they have been given by God."

How to we start planning for a sabbatical? Sabbatical planning should include the church as well as the pastor. Some churches have found that forming a sabbatical committee is a good way to work together. The following suggestions for sabbatical planning are endorsed by the Reformed Church in America:

Each installed pastor is encouraged to negotiate an appropriate sabbatical leave with the consistory every five years. The length of the sabbatical leave may vary. A length of two to four months ought to be given serious consideration by both parties.

During a sabbatical, salary and benefits shall continue to be paid as during normal service.

Unusual expenses incurred during a sabbatical leave (cost of tuition, travel, etc.) are the responsibility of the minister, who may choose to use funds set aside for continuing education if the consistory agrees that this is appropriate.

Provision for sabbatical leaves shall be included in the consistory's call to the minister. Appropriate provision in the annual budget shall be made to ensure that when a plan for a sabbatical is agreed upon, the funds for adjunct pastoral assistance (as needed) are available.

--Adapted from Minutes of General Synod 1987, pp. 203-204

            -submitted by Candy Matthews

Sermon Archive

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Wake Up Call Who Is Like God? (1/4) Micah 1:1-7
Good News For Sale Who Is Like God? (2/4) Micah 3:1-12
Who Are You Again? Who Is Like God? (3/4) Micah 4:6-5:5a
God Like No Other Who Is Like God? (4/4) Micah 7:14-20
First Things First Thanksgiving Psalm 50:1-15, 23
Lead By The Head Christ the King Sunday Ephesians 1:15–23
Matter-ing TGI Monday (1/6) Matthew 28:1-10
God's Superhighway TGI Monday (2/6) Matthew 22:34-40
As Is, Just As TGI Monday (3/6) Luke 19:1-10
Authentic Living TGI Monday (4/6) Genesis 1-2
How Not To Be A Christian At Work TGI Monday (5/6) 1 Peter 3:13-16
Kingdom Platform TGI Monday (6/6) Colossians 3:12-25
Remembering Your First Love Seeking God (1/10) Hosea 10, 11, 14
Grabbing a Slice Seeking God (2/10) 1 Chronicles 12, 16, John 13
The Truth About The Truth Seeking God (3/10) 1 John 1:5-10
No More Seeking God (4/10) John 8:2-11
God's Glue Seeking God (5/10) Ephesians 2:1-9
Getting Ready Seeking God (6/10) 1 Peter 1:13-21
Love's Acid Test Seeking God (7/10) John 14:15-24
We're Good Seeking God (8/10) 1 John 4:5-21
A Prisoner Freed Seeking God (9/10) Matthew 18:21-35
Light Power Seeking God (10/10) Galatians 5:16-26
Promise Keeper Refuel (1/5) John 14:18-31
John 16:4-15
Cosmic Math Refuel (2/5) Mark 1:1-11
Fruity Living Refuel (3/5) Galatians 5:16-26
Step One Refuel (4/5) John 3:1-16
Set Apart Refuel (5/5) Romans 8:1-11
Fear Not  Unshakeable (1/6) Matthew 28:1-10
On Your Feet Unshakeable (2/6) John 21:1-19
I Have This Hope
     song video
Unshakeable (3/6) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Most Perfect Imperfect Prayer Unshakeable (4/6) Mark 9:14-29
God's Job Description Unshakeable (5/6) Exodus 3:1-15
Confidence In The Chaos Unshakeable (6/6) John 16:25-33

Going Deeper

These questions and actions are designed to help you find ways to take Sunday’s Scripture out into the world as the hands and feet of Christ. 

Making You Think

·         Abram was 75 years old (Genesis 12:4) when he was first promised by God to become a "great nation." Put yourself in Abram's sandals: when would you expect that promise to be fulfilled?

·         Why would God wait so long to fulfill His promise to Abraham? What purpose does a 25+ year delay serve?

·         What do you think about Sarah's (Abraham's wife) statement in Genesis 16 that "The Lord has kept me from having children?" (At first blush, this seems completely at odds with God's promise.

Memory Verse

those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (NRSV)


Good News Archive
Good News - Dec 2018
Good News - Nov 2018
Good News - Oct 2018
Good News - Sept 2018
Good News - August 2018
Good News - July 2018
Good News - June 2018
Good News - May 2018
Good News - April 2018
Good News - Mar 2018
Good News - Feb 2018


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e-sword - free Bible software

5694 Woodlane Newark NY 14513              Phone: (315) 331-4903              E-mail: office@woodlanechurch.org